REL has lot of catching up to do, and reports on some of the highs and lows that affected the club over the last few weeks.
The funeral of our very good friend Lynne Evans' will be held this Thursday at 11:50 at St David's Church, Beaufort. Following this there will be a cremation at Croesyceiliog and a farewell back at Beaufort RFC. H Lynne was a big supporter of the club, and the development of future first team players, and Alan recalls their trip to Scotland MANY years ago to watch Mathew "Chunky" Williams and the Steelers play. It was also Lynne's birthday and the players sang happy birthday to her in the bar afterwards. Great memories.
It’s a game of eighty minutes (at least)
Just four weeks ago, Ebbw left it until the last kick of the match to win at Rodney Parade. Friday's events at the Brewey Field weren't quite as last minute, but they weren't far behind!
On a very wet night in Bridgend, in front of a crowd dominated by Steelmen supporters in fine voice, Ebbw made all the early running and were rewarded when Josh Jacas, in for Ashley Sweet, crossed wide on the left. Iain Smerdon's conversion went wide but the fly half made amends three minutes later, comfortably stroking over a penalty to give his side an 8-0 advantage. It looked as if Ebbw would take the lead into half time, but Bridgend scored 10 points in the last three minutes. Tom O'Flaherty showed tremendous pace to finish a 70 yard move, converted by James Dixon who then added an injury time penalty to give his side an unlikely 10-8 lead, and leave Ebbw rueing their failure to turn pressure to points.
Fifteen minutes into part two, the trusted "catch'n'Kynes" paid off and Smerdon's trusty left boot made it 15-10 to the Steelmen. Just after the hour, Ebbw's left winger Tom James was yellow-carded, referee Mr Thomas having adjudged that he made contact with an airborne Bridgend catcher. The Ravens took quick advantage and attacked down the right, O'Flaherty bagging his second, converted from the touchline by Dixon. Bridgend led 17-15.
Ebbw were not enjoying their usual scrum dominance and yielded a penalty that Dixon saw fall short. Five minutes later, he got a second chance, following a yellow card for Rob Sevenoaks, and put his side 20-15 up with just four minutes to go. Any thoughts that it was 'game over' were quickly dispelled. Bridgend strayed offside at a ruck just inside Ebbw's half and Smerdon sent the penalty kick into touch deep in Bridgend's 22. Replacement hooker Joe Franchi hit Damien Hudd in the resulting line out and, with the defence standing off in an effort to defy the drive, the Ebbw skipper drove over for the touchdown to level the scores. Smerdon converted brilliantly to give the Steelmen an injury time lead. And there was more to come; in a repeat performance, Bridgend transgressed at the breakdown, Smerdon sent the penalty into touch 10m out and the "catch'n'Kynes" worked again to give Ebbw a 27-20 win and a 4-try bonus point.
Team: Dan Haymond, Owen WIlliams, Nathan Preece, Adam Jones, Tom James; Iain Smerdon, Rhys Downes; Ross Jones, Rhys Francis, Gethin Robinson; Damien Hudd (c), Josh Jacas; Rhys Clarke, Ronny Kynes, Harrison Keddie. Replacements: John Lavender, Joe Franchi, Robert Sevenoaks, Gareth Rusby-Davies, Spencer Gibson, Chris Thomas, Ethan Davies, Tom Hiscock.
Scorers: Ebbw Vale - Tries Josh Jacas, Ronny Kynes (2), Damien Hudd
Cons Iain Smerdon (2)
Pens Iain Smerdon
Bridgend - Tries Tom O’Flaherty (2)
Cons James Dixon (2)
Pens James Dixon (2)
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